Dystopan Literature Over Time

Came across this list on Goodreads, thanks largely to Molly Spring’s post (which I will reblog next since it’s pretty dawn awesome!). Basically, the table gives graphic representation to historical trends and the popularity of dystopian lit over the past few decades. Though it does preclude Yevengy Zamyatin’s We and Jack London’s The Iron Heel by a few years, it manages to pick up in the early 30′ with the creation of Brave New World.

Cataloging what led to the creation of that and all many subsequent dystopian classics, the creator of this infographic shows how our perceptions and tastes – as expressed through popular dystopian visions – have changed over time. In the end, the point seems to be that we’ve evolved from thinking simply that the state is the primary threat to human freedom in our world. Things like body image, reproductive rights, environmental issues, nuclear weapons, epidemics (both man-made and natural) and agism.

You might think that it’s making the point that people have more to worry about today than they did before. But personally, I just think it’s pointing out how the literature is evolving to focus on our own evolving sense of self and understanding of ourselves. You know the old saying, “the world isn’t any worse, you just understand it better?” Well, it’s a little like that. The literature isn’t any darker, just more complex. Quite the little romp too, if you ask me. 

3 thoughts on “Dystopan Literature Over Time

  1. Good post. Not sure why dystopian books flip my trigger but I love them. The list has some of my favorites and others that I had forgotten about. I need to go get my copy of Fahrenheit 451 and re-read it. I’m still reading the Hunger Games series. I take my time and savor the stories. Hope all is well with you Matt….

  2. Sometimes this infographic trend drives me crazy, but this one is about books and one of my favorite genres so I like it!
    -Nizzy

  3. So funny. I just went to a writer’s conference where they told me that dystopia was dead. 🙂

    Maybe that’s since the books in the piplines are still a year or two from publication. But still, interesting…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s